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DatsyukianDekes

#73 OA - Defenseman Vili Saarijarvi

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I agree with krsmith.

I also believe today's NHL premiers the offensive D-men. I'm fine with that, IF you as a defense man prioritize defense first, THEN can find offensive within the system implemented by the coaches. Seems some do not agree with that. Well good luck with that, at least you're in prime position to contend for the draft lottery.

The qualities of a defense man in following order (to me):

1. Defensive skill and positioning (Lidström best in this category of all time), superior skating also in this point

2. Size, strength and hitting, also corner skills reside here

3. Outlet passing + superior understanding and feel of the game

4. Offensive skills

5. Death Ray shot from the blue line capable of breaking bones.

So to conclude he clearly doesn't have size, but could still be a top 4 backend. Time will tell.

I think Victor Hedman fills all of these points as a reference defense man in my oponion. But then again he was drafted at number 2, not 73.

You may want to break these up then. You have size, strength, and hitting as one quality when you can have one or two of those qualities but not the other one(s).

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Sure, he could grow a little more, but most teenage guys stop growing at 17-18... And sure, he could make the NHL someday, but right off the bat, odds are against him because of lack of size...

I'm going to say this one last time... I don't like the pick because there were several other players available that I am much higher on. You and several others like the pick, and that's completely fine. We'll see in a few years how it turns out, and I'll be rooting for the kid to make it every step of the way.

Where are you seeing Karlsson listed at 5'11"??? It must be a very obscure website... I've checked NHL.com, eliteprospects.com, hockeydb.com, hockey-reference.com, and thehockeynews.com... Every single one have him listed at 6'0"... So no, he is not at all undersized, and even if he were listed at 5'11", like I stated several times now, I don't see that as being completely undersized either...

I'm not even sure why we're even talking about Erik Karlsson anyway? This is a guy that was a steal at 15th overall in 2008. We drafted Saarijarvi 73rd overall, and as far as I know, he wasn't on anyone's rankings. I know he didn't meet NHL Central Scouting's top 120 European skaters... We went completely off the board for this one, let's hope it pays off like it has many times in the past...

We are talking about Karlsson for the simple fact that an elite player that isn't big can still play Hockey. Then there is a bunch of others that are really great players that are even smaller then him.

5'11 6'0 - tomatoe, tomato, like I said, Big E 6'4 doesn't play like it.

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There's not a doubt in my mind that any small player can play "hockey", but can these same small players play hockey at the highest level in the world? Some can, most can't...

Are you seriously saying that Saarijarvi has the potential to be Karlsson elite? A player that was drafted 73rd overall and not even thought of by any other scouts (experts) to go in the entire draft?... He wasn't even in the top 20 defensemen (offensively) in a very weak USHL...

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There's not a doubt in my mind that any small player can play "hockey", but can these same small players play hockey at the highest level in the world? Some can, most can't...

Are you seriously saying that Saarijarvi has the potential to be Karlsson elite? A player that was drafted 73rd overall and not even thought of by any other scouts (experts) to go in the entire draft?... He wasn't even in the top 20 defensemen (offensively) in a very weak USHL...

Why did Detroit draft him then?

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That's my question... There's no doubt they went off the board with this pick. They must have seen something that no one else did. They've been right with these types of picks before (they've also been wrong) so let's hope, we got a player here...

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There's not a doubt in my mind that any small player can play "hockey", but can these same small players play hockey at the highest level in the world? Some can, most can't...

Are you seriously saying that Saarijarvi has the potential to be Karlsson elite? A player that was drafted 73rd overall and not even thought of by any other scouts (experts) to go in the entire draft?... He wasn't even in the top 20 defensemen (offensively) in a very weak USHL...

I am saying don't write off someone because of their height. I am not comparing him to Karlson in anyway other then Karlson is not big at all and he doesn't get manhandled. One inch taller doesn't mean a damn thing, you should be more concerned about his weight if anything.

Datsyuk wasn't expected to go in his draft and look at what happened there. Tyler Johnson same thing. Just because the hockey "expert" analysts don't predict them in some lame mock draft doesn't mean the player is horrible. Sleepers do exist in all sports.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I am saying don't write off someone because of their height. I am not comparing him to Karlson in anyway other then Karlson is not big at all and he doesn't get manhandled. One inch taller doesn't mean a damn thing, you should be more concerned about his weight if anything.

Datsyuk wasn't expected to go in his draft and look at what happened there. Tyler Johnson same thing. Just because the hockey "expert" analysts don't predict them in some lame mock draft doesn't mean the player is horrible. Sleepers do exist in all sports.

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Well you make a point. Tyler Johnson wasn't even drafted. And the scouting staff is renowned for it's ability. Will certainly be interesting to see what Vili has in a year or two.

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Stamkos was a big, derfy pylon against us...that little motherf...Johnson killed us. If you can play..you can play. Do I want 6 5-10ish Dmen? No...but I don't want a unit full of 6-4 225lb sloths either. I'll have rom for a smaller slick skater puck moving PP running Dman every day and I won't care if he isn't a poster child for ideal "measurables"

Sarvi can skate, he did very well against high end competition in the U18 tournament , he shoots RH and his names is cool...besides..the league doesn't want you to graab guys on the chip and chase..they barely want you to touch them. Hard body checks...other than the big crosscheck in the corner are drawing more penalties and suspensions. That puts a premium on dmen that can turn their feet and keep guys in front of them as they move into the zone..it's almost like defending the baseline in basketball. You can't let that guy get a step and turn the corner. That puts a premium on skating.

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First of all, I am in no way "writing him off"... I never said or implied that players will not make the NHL based on height, I simply said, it is much tougher to make it for players that lack stature...

Where are you getting this one inch from? There's three inches between the two... And why would I be more concerned about the weight? Not many players gain a lot of height after being drafted, all gain weight (muscle). Why are we still talking about Karlsson anyway? There are no similarities between the two, other than the fact they are both European defensemen that shoot right... Karlsson is average height with an elite skill set. Saarijarvi is very small with an average skill set...

You keep arguing with me as if I'm saying I don't think this kid has any chance in making it. This whole thing is getting ridiculous. Last time I'm saying this... I don't like the pick because there were better options available. This kid is a dark horse, but I hope he makes it. I'm done...

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First of all, I am in no way "writing him off"... I never said or implied that players will not make the NHL based on height, I simply said, it is much tougher to make it for players that lack stature...

Where are you getting this one inch from? There's three inches between the two... And why would I be more concerned about the weight? Not many players gain a lot of height after being drafted, all gain weight (muscle). Why are we still talking about Karlsson anyway? There are no similarities between the two, other than the fact they are both European defensemen that shoot right... Karlsson is average height with an elite skill set. Saarijarvi is very small with an average skill set...

You keep arguing with me as if I'm saying I don't think this kid has any chance in making it. This whole thing is getting ridiculous. Last time I'm saying this... I don't like the pick because there were better options available. This kid is a dark horse, but I hope he makes it. I'm done...

Then choose Ryan Ellis, then choose Vatenen etc. the point doesn't change. Height =/ everything. I am not even including forwards either.

Your wording from the beginning would have not even started the "ridiculous" debate. You should have just said "not who I would have picked" instead of going on about his size. Which is where myself and another poster started saying it has nothing to do with it.

Edited by darkmanx

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Take it for what it's worth, but I noticed a number of favorable mentions regarding Saarijarvi and his play during today's camp on Twitter earlier today. Malik did a write-up on him, too.

So the Wings signed Vili Saarijarvi at the development camp.

Should they have done so?

Well, first and foremost, it's to control his playing future, and second, despite the fact that he's 5'10," not 5'9," and about 175 pounds...

Yeah. Yeah they should have, and I'm glad they did. Even on first glance, he's fleet-of-foot, he's got great positioning, his PACE is at pro level, not USHL level, and he looked better than anybody not named Dylan Larkin out there today. Saarijarvi can pass on the fly and pass where he wants the puck to go, not just where the puck should be when he's making the pass, his shot is hard and he has no problems whatsoever dealing with bumps and grinding. He reminded me of Joe Hicketts last summer, except that Saarijarvi has far better offensive skills, and again, that PACE is something that only stands out if you're really damn good. I was that impressed with him.

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From the 2015 draft thread.....

... we been bitching forever that we need defensemen but we get a 5;9 dman that didnt look good in his short stint at ushl and returned back to finland....

The clear implication in that sentence is that he couldn't hack hockey in NA so he's going home

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Second day comments from Malik:

Vili Saarijarvi 71: I shrug my shoulders and go, "Pro pace, pro pace." I have seen Vili for the sum total of about an hour, and I already understand that the Red Wings didn't overreact by signing him to a pro contract some eight days after he was drafted. He's not big at 5'10" and he's not massively physically imposing, but he is an elegant puckhandler, a smart, slick passer and a superb skater who just does everything well. Tyler Wright called him the "complete package" and that's not off. He's really, really good and I don't know how the Wings got him in the 3rd round, either, because he plays like a 1st round pick.


From the 2015 draft thread.....

... we been bitching forever that we need defensemen but we get a 5;9 dman that didnt look good in his short stint at ushl and returned back to finland....

The clear implication in that sentence is that he couldn't hack hockey in NA so he's going home

There are many other reasons to go back but either way he seems to be playing for Flint next season.

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Malik sez:

he (Saarijarvi) and Joe Hicketts were the best defensemen at the summer camp. Saarijarvi shoots well, passes superbly, carries the puck up ice with no issues whatsoever and is an excellent skater in all three directions (forward, backward and laterally), and his pace, his professional-already pace, is really exciting to watch. The only things Saarijarvi needs to do to vault himself into the top level of Red Wings prospects are to continue to play in North America, which he will do with the OHL's Flint Firebirds, and to put some weight on his skinny 5'10" frame.

Sounds very different from the debbie downers in here. Huh.

Looking forward to see this kid in Flint.

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Malik sez:

Sounds very different from the debbie downers in here. Huh.

Looking forward to see this kid in Flint.

Hoping the Firebirds can bring Kantner over too. Need all the help they can get since McLeod is pulling a Lindros and trying to force a trade to the Steelheads so he can play with his brother

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